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Peer2Peer Finance News | September 23, 2019

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Funding Circle US strengthens senior team with two new hires

Funding Circle US strengthens senior team with two new hires
Suzie Neuwirth

FUNDING Circle’s US division has bolstered its senior team with two new hires, to help drive the peer-to-peer lender’s growth in that country’s market.

The London-headquartered firm named Joanna Karger as US head of capital markets and Richard Stephenson as US chief compliance officer.

Karger has over 30 years of experience working in capital markets, most recently at clean energy financing firm Renew Financial. She started her career at the US Treasury and went on to hold roles at Allianz and McMorgan & Company.

Stephenson joins Funding Circle from Silicon Valley Bank, prior to which he held a number of senior roles at US financial institutions including Bank of America and Union Bank.

“Joanna and Richard have deep experience in building and scaling robust financial services businesses, and we are thrilled they will be playing integral roles in Funding Circle’s continued growth in the US market,” said Sam Hodges, co-founder and US managing director at Funding Circle.

“With their leadership, we will continue to invest heavily in compliance and operational controls, and focus on further diversifying the capital streams flowing into our growing marketplace.”

Since launching in 2010, investors at Funding Circle – including 60,000 individuals, financial institutions, governments, and the listed Funding Circle SME Income Fund – have helped more than 30,000 businesses globally access $3.8bn (£2.9bn) in financing.

Read more: Victory Park Capital sells Funding Circle US and Upstart loans

“Funding Circle provides an opportunity for individual and institutional investors to share in the success of America’s small businesses,” said Karger. “I look forward to bringing this unique asset class to an even broader range of investors as we continue to diversify our capital base and build a strong, sustainable and transparent marketplace.”

“A thoughtful approach to legal, regulatory and compliance is one of the important factors that sets Funding Circle apart in the industry,” said Stephenson. “As the world’s leading lending platform for business financing, I’m thrilled to join Funding Circle to help drive the company’s responsible growth in the US market and further its mission to build a better financial world.”

Funding Circle recently launched a new six-month term loan product in the US, with rates starting from 4.99 per cent.

And in March, impact investor Community Investment Management (CIM) pledged to invest an extra $100m into loans on Funding Circle’s US platform.

CIM was one of Funding Circle’s earliest institutional partners in the US and is also part of the Global Impact Investment Network, a body advocating investments into companies and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

Read more: Funding Circle announces £82m equity investment after record quarter